“Play it again Jessica” is the call-out from the darkened console of the BCI team to My Virtual Dream multimedia artist Jessica Palmer during rehearsal for upcoming show. While getting MVD ready for the upcoming event at UCI this weekend, Jessica explains the project this way, “MVD blends art, science and technology into a fully immersive environment, it’s truly unlike anything people have ever experienced.” She nods, makes dozens of click-like commands on three different laptops simultaneously then smiles approvingly as My Virtual Dream slowly comes to life, again.
My Virtual Dream is an entertainment and learning experience about mind fitness and brain health at the intersection of science + art + music. In this multi-sensory, immersive performance you, the audience, become the performer. Using your brain waves you co-create a stunning array of visuals, sounds and music all projected in real-time, live. You’re part of a synchrony of audience dreamers who share their collective brain activity with The Virtual Brain, a cutting-edge neuroscience computational program.
Built by an incredibly talented team of artists, musicians, programmers, scientists and engineers, My Virtual Dream is unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Many things make it unique but what’s particularly special is what the audience and dreamers get from the experience. “We hope The Dreamers will learn more about brain function and themselves. We also encourage people attending MVD to talk to us and each other, because conversation and collaboration are wonderful fuel for inspiration and discovery,” explains Jessica.
Where Does The Art Come?
Using the five main frequencies from each of the dreamers’ brain waves, artwork stored like memories inside The Virtual Brain are recreated into a powerful visual dreamscape. “The art for each dream scene is determined right before a scene change based on the performance of all Dreamers’ brain waves. Dreamers who relax will have calm dreams, and Dreamers who focus will have dramatic dreams,” explains Jessica.
Where Does The Music Come From?
The peaks emotional moments of the audience’s brain waves activate The Virtual Brain’s memory of audio files to remake a music experience. “The music is selected during the interval right after the musicians introduce themselves. This happens between the training and the dream. The music that is selected is broken into four layers, one per Dreamer. Each Dreamer has direct control of the volume of that layer. The more relaxed they are, the more they can hear that layer,” explains Jessica.
Jessica Palmer along with the MVD BCI team, musicians, volunteers and a host of audio-visual experts will dazzle the crowd at the University of California at Irvine 50th Anniversary “Festival of Discovery” starting Friday night Oct. 2nd for a VIP event and then Saturday Oct 3rd open to the public.
by Richard Tavener, Executive Producer, My Virtual Dream